Madeline Ringvelski

Musical Theatre

Fort Gratiot, MI


Becoming Biddy: A Journey Into “Great Expectations”

Madeline Ringvelski, a musical theatre major graduating in April of 2019, took a role in this year’s production of Great Expectations for her senior capstone project. She was cast as Actress 2, which means she portrayed the characters Biddy, Clara Barley, Stable Boy and a Pocket, while also serving as one of the narrators for the show. The process began with reading the novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens that the play is based on and also researching Charles Dickens’ background. The research aspect involved an analysis of all characters, including developing a Lugering classical barre of movement for each. The Lugering method connects your mind, body and spirit and helps to create specific physicalities for characters. Character research was tested through rehearsals and applied to scene scores and performances. Scene scores are analyses for actors to use to dissect the meaning behind each line and action, scene-by-scene. The performance element tested the preparation and provided the atmosphere for Madeline to showcase her training and exercise the ability to let a show live and breathe while maintaining consistency throughout the storytelling process. Live theatre is unique in its fluidity and ability to grow and adapt during the run of performances. The responsibility then lies on the actors to make sure every audience gets the same experience as the one before during this growth and adaptation. The post-show assessment will provide the opportunity to look back on all of the training learned during her time as a theatre student and how it all came together in this final capstone project.